Juneteenth National Independence Day is the nation's newest federal holiday. It was signed into law on June 17, 2021, by President Joe Biden. Maine also designates June 19 each year as an official state holiday. The holiday commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It marks the day at the end of the Civil War when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people were freed.
Juneteenth falls this year on Monday, June 19. That day will be a paid holiday for all regular district employees. Portland’s public schools and district offices will be closed on Monday, June 19, in observance of the holiday.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed enslaved people in rebellious states, in 1863. However, in many parts of the country, the proclamation was not implemented until the army enforced it. Juneteenth is considered the longest-running African American holiday, but it only became a federal holiday when President Biden signed it into law.